UK Supreme Court

'Catastrophic' Nigerian oil pollution case may be heard in the UK - Supreme Court

Two Nigerian communities, hard hit through the devastation of their environment by oil spills, have won a legal victory in the UK supreme court that could have wide-reaching effects not only on their own situation, but in similar cases in future. The communities have been trying to sue Royal Dutch Shell for alleged negligence in Nigeria that has led to the severe pollution of their traditional lands.

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Given all that has been written about the plight of the Niger delta communities overwhelmed with pollution caused by more than 50 years of oil operations, it is hard to choose the best - or worst - example to illustrate the disaster’s scale, and thus show why the new judgment is so important.

Zambian farmers head to UK courts for fight with international company over polluted water

Thousands of Zambian farmers, wanting to claim against a multinational giant for allegedly polluting their water with copper mining effluent, will have their day in court – in the United Kingdom. The UK’s Supreme Court this week ruled that the farmers could sue Vedanta and its Zambian subsidiary, Konkola Copper Mines, in the UK. The decision has been hailed as having the potential to affect many other cases involving international companies exploiting third world minerals and gas.

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WHEN the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom handed down its unanimous judgment in the case of Vedanta v Lungowe this week, the decision instantly became the most-discussed issue in that part of social media concerned with international human rights.

Villagers' water pollution case should be heard in UK not Zambia, court hears

A major case on the environmental and human rights of villagers in Zambia was heard in the English courts over two days this week. The appeal concerns the question of where villagers, suing over the pollution of their water via mining action, may bring their dispute. They want the case heard in the UK while Vedanta, the parent company they are targeting, says the “natural forum” for the matter would be Zambia.

FOR almost 2000 villagers in Zambia’s Chingola region, this was a crucial week. A two-day hearing in the English courts could see them finally able to act against the mining outfit they claim has, since 2005, polluted their water and damaged their health, their lands and any prospect of earning a living.

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